“Parents more than ever need proven strategies, based on science, to support how they raise their children. As people are forced to work from home, and as COVID-19 contributes to increased stress, more than ever we need to focus on the needs of the children.”
“I see that supporting science-based substance use prevention with a focus on developing the skills of young people works. I hope that Listen First continues to be seen as a platform to disseminate the science of prevention and to focus on the needs of the most precious resource around the world – children.”
“The involvement of parents is crucial, but also the alertness that some children are at a higher risk. That is why ‘Listen First’ is so relevant because by listening to the child the parents can learn not only what they communicate but also how they communicate it. By listening, we can understand the problems and intervene early on.”
“'Listen First' marks a change of paradigm in the prevention approach. More than 30 countries and organizations from all continents adhered to the initiative, well beyond our expectations, this means that the simple message of Listen First hits right."
“The Listen First campaign nicely summarizes the main messages from the evidence-based family-focused prevention programmes which we have been implementing in Slovenia for almost ten years.”
“Since we cannot be in physical contact with families during COVID-19, we think that supplementing those programmes with pleasant and warm video content is a great solution. It offers us the opportunity to bring to the fore tools or approaches that have a scientific basis and are proven to work. Even in so-called ‘normal’ times.”
“‘Listen First’ is a playful and fun way to disseminate science-based prevention that targets adults widely. The materials help adults to see the importance of establishing an intensive interpersonal relationship with children, giving them their undivided time with consideration for the child's dignity, creativity, and view of the future. Being able to listen to the dreams of children and adolescents could be a real new attitude and change of mentality in education.”
“I think ‘Listen First’ is great. Prevention of substance use is key. It is much more cost-effective, and it prevents a lot of suffering. It's also very difficult for many countries to implement, so this is how ‘Listen First’ can help”
"Family harmony helps to reduce children's anxieties while keeping them safe. So, the 'Listen First' campaign with its useful materials is very important."
“Substance use prevention works, especially evidence-based prevention, such as increasing parenting skills and using 'Listen First' materials. Thank you to our member states for adapting and scaling up UNODC Programs on the prevention of drugs and crime. Together we have and can go far in making our families and societies healthy, safe, and secure.”
"'Listen First' stepped up to the need for a rapid and timely response of science-based parenting messages. Recognizing that caring, responsive adults help protect children in difficult times, especially when they are warm, supportive, and comforting.”
"The messages are basic, simple, perhaps forgotten, but very current both in the time of fast consumerism and in the time of the COVID-19 epidemic. Following the parenting tips will help us feel better and connect and understand each other better."
"'Listen First' is a great opportunity to raise the profile of non-communicable diseases and mental health across sectors beyond health, including finance, education, and social protection, thus promoting a coherent and multi-sectoral response."
“Listen First paired up with evidence-based strategies can be very effective as they not only comprise of protective factors but are also applied at an age-appropriate developmental stage.”
“A campaign like ‘Listen First’ will help push discourse and policy towards scientific evidence because many current national drug policies are still largely based on anecdotes, myths, prejudice, and emotional reactions.”
“‘Listen First' focuses on the importance of developing life skills, involvement of parents, and the subtle emphasis that the earlier one starts with prevention, the better it is. This is in line with our prevention approach.”
“UNODC places children at the centre of all our work and supports countries in creating the necessary conditions to promote child participation and civic engagement in decision-making processes that will affect children. Initiatives such as “Listen First” contribute to acknowledging that everyone has a role to play in the well-being of children. Listening to children is a crucial step in preventing and responding to violence against children”
“‘Listen First’ allows children to be valued and also to value what they think and how they feel. Respecting and considering the feelings of children is an essential step in preventing violence against them.”
“In 2020-21, UNODC focused ‘Listen First’ to support parenting during the stressful times of COVID-19, to invest in the well-being of children and youth, their families and their communities.”
“‘Listen First’ takes the next step in educating not only prevention professionals but also other professionals who may be in contact with parents or children who may benefit from evidence-based prevention interventions.”
“Drug use prevention based on science is an effective investment in a healthy future. Amidst the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic and its disruptions to education and social interactions, the new phase of UNODC’s 'Listen First' initiative offers valuable support for children to develop skills which help them build resilience to drug use and empower them against adversity.”
“‘Listen First’ presents a unique opportunity for mutual cooperation for all institutions and organizations [related to] child education and drug policies … [which] enables the involvement of the whole society in raising awareness … [and] contributes to the health of children and the health of society as a whole.”
"'Listen First' is a great and very accessible resource. It could have a huge impact on my community. It is an excellent tool that can empower people to make conscious decisions."
We use ‘Listen First’ materials and videos to raise awareness among families and caregivers about the importance of actively listening to children, monitoring their daily routines, participating in their activities, and being patient with them."
"'Listen First' gives us a chance to put science at the front of the conversation and engage people. It provides an understanding that substance use prevention is universal. It's for everyone."
"What's great about the 'Listen First' program is that it's science-based, so there's no moralism. It's about things that work."
"We've got lots of adventures that we want to share, and we can't wait to hear all about how children around the world are dealing with their emotions too."
“I can do many extraordinary things - I can reach all the way up to the stars. And I can touch people's hearts; I can feel what they're feeling. But I had to go through a lot of learning to do that."
“One of the many reasons I love 'Listen First' is that it shows that prevention, at the most basic level, is about love and connection. Both things help people grow, adapt, make better decisions, feel supported, and, in the end, achieve their true potential.”
“Looking at 'The Science of Skills', this is precisely where we need to go. In schools, the educational system teaches us to memorize hard facts. But then we enter life, and we actually don't know how to treat each other. If people really adopted those skills, society would look very different. So it's not only about preventing substance use or other risky behaviors. It's changing relations between people and creating a very different society.”
“They used to tease me for having such large ears and that made me sad. But then I learned I could actually use them to listen better, hear things even more – even how people were secretly feeling - and I learned I could help others."
“Many problems in the area of substance use and mental health begin early in life and children who come from less advantaged backgrounds are at higher risk. Those problems also influence their education and socio-economic situation in the longer term.”
“Empathy means having the ability to feel and understand others: to see things from not only your
own view. It is very important, because without empathy we would not keep our friends!"
“We often have a hard time “selling” substance prevention because the ‘product’ is not appealing and there is a lot of stigmas related to substance use. So I love ‘Super Skills’ because nobody has anything against learning life skills!”
“I feel happy when school is finished, and I play with my friends. During the holidays with my family. When I am in a place that I like, that is happiness to me!”
Made possible with the generous support of France.